Exactly four years and one day ago, I wrote an article titled “Libya, Syria, and left Islamophobia” that called attention to leftist support for Gaddafi and Assad that despite its “anti-imperialist” posturing was more in line with the sort of thing that Christopher Hitchens was writing over a decade ago in support of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
I cited Pepe Escobar as following in Hitchens’s footsteps. For him, there was no point in distinguishing the FSA from al-Qaeda as he writes in his patented and rather plastic journalistic style:
Destination of choice of the $1,500 Kalashnikov in 2012: Syria. Network: al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, also known as AQI. Recipients: infiltrated jihadis operating side-by-side with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Also shuttling between Syria and Iraq is car bombing and suicide bombing, as in two recent bombings in the suburbs of Damascus and the suicide bombing last Friday in Aleppo.
Who would have thought that what the House of Saud wants in Syria – an Islamist regime – is exactly what al-Qaeda wants in Syria?
Nothing has changed since he wrote this crap. You make an amalgam between FSA and al-Qaeda and when ISIS comes along, you add them to the mix. So when Syrian and Russian bombers blow up entire neighborhoods, including their hospitals, you justify it in the name of “fighting terrorism” just as Hitchens did. You come to this position because it is the “axis of resistance” killing people rather than the USA. And when the USA joins in, your response is muted. Has anybody seen the ANSWER coalition organizing protests against American bombing in Iraq or Syria? I haven’t. In fact, when you go to their website you will see an article that warns about the possibility of American intervention against ISIS being a decoy maneuver that is intended to prepare the way for “regime change”. One imagines that if these assholes could be guaranteed that the USA would stick to killing ISIS and any civilian unfortunate enough to be within 5 miles of their fighters, they’d shrug their shoulders and say “go ahead”.
As inured as I have become to this kind of political decrepitude, it did not prepare me for the totally disgusting rant by Bill Blum that appeared on Information Clearing House five days ago. Titled “ISIS Has Nothing To Do With Islam?”, it starts off with a warning that “Warning! What follows is very politically incorrect.”
Since William Blum announced his support for Donald Trump on March 11, 2016, you can guess that his reference to being “politically incorrect” is in line with the oft-repeated mantra of the American Marine Le Pen. Blum has it in for the left because it is “politically correct”:
The left is the worst when it comes to political correctness. Here is the very progressive Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), criticizing the New York Times for labeling the mass-murder truck attack in Nice “terrorist” … “despite admitting that it had no knowledge of the presumed killer’s motives.”
This is a real knee-slapping joke considering the fact that FAIR has been part of the Baathist amen corner for the longest time, with staff member Adam Johnson writing some of the worst offal outside of ZNet, Salon or CounterPunch.
But as bad as Johnson is, he has never written anything like this:
Is Nice the last straw for you? The last victims before you call it by its proper name: radical Islamic terrorism? French Prime Minister Hollande was quick to point out that it was a “terrorist attack”, but not a radical Islamic attack. Oh? When the perpetrator is a Muslim named Mohamed, as in this case, and the victims are celebrating an iconic Western holiday, why the reluctance to use the latter term? President Obama’s preference is “violent extremists”.
The Islamic teachings I refer to are not necessarily explicitly mentioned in the Koran or any other sacred texts, nor have any connection to actual historical events of the 7th through the 21st centuries, but rather are an imbedded part of the atmosphere surrounding a young person growing up in a Muslim culture or environment. This atmosphere, this education, this culture must be severely curtailed. The West must oversee the classes in Islamic schools in France, the UK, the US, et al; and particularly Pakistan if feasible. Even if it means sending in spies to the classes, outfitted with recording devices. The teachers of these classes, if they have had any connection at all to anything smacking of radical Islam, should not be hired; if already hired, should be fired.
Let’s get straight to the point. These are the words of a bigot and someone who has about as much understanding of the roots of terrorism as the crew that beat the drum for George W. Bush in 2003.
Like the 9/11 attack, the spate of ISIS-directed or inspired terrorist attacks in Europe and the USA have derailed a wide section of the left. It is not understood as a departure from “radical” principles but upholding them in the name of secularism, diversity and Western Civilization.
The one thing that might be a saving grace is that Blum is writing this racist garbage on Information Clearing House, a website that is a cut below ZNet, Salon and CounterPunch, journals that (hopefully) will understand that Blum is now beyond the pale.